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Spider-Man 3 (2007)
From a fan of the movies
The Spider-Man movie.
I haven't had that much fun with a movie since I was a kid. Sam Raimi did an excellent job. Yes, it's flawed and rushed towards the end but this movie made me gain total belief in what was happening on screen; it made em laugh (dude, it's Sam Raimi - - it's gonna be campy as hell), it made me care, it held me in suspense and I almost cried (no kidding). I loved it. Never have I felt the need as this to go rush back in and watch a movie again after a first viewing. If you can just forget about the comic book template, lower your expectations, and just lose yourself to the great drama unfolding before you I think you can have a great time.
Plus Bruce Campbell's cameo was gold.
This was originally going to be shot back to back with a forth movie but no one could decide on the best possible cliffhanger. Were they nuts?! There's a perfect part to stop it at - - and afterwards that's where things get kinda shaky for a bit and then it redeems itself beautifully at the end.
This is what I would call a Grade-A popcorn movie to me. Not those soulless blockbusters Hollywood churns out every summer.
Then, again, this is just me. But I was really impressed. I mean, the audience and critics are severely mixed - - with the vast majority of folks hating it (you should have heard the comic geeks grumbling during the closing credits).
Will it reclaim its 300 million budget? One can only hope. But I highly doubt it unless people are willing to give a toss about the cinematic-version of these characters.
And I'll say this again...
I could not stop talking about the movie for hours after on end. Blew me away.
Art School Confidential (2006)
I was somewhat disappointed with Ghost World the first time around (the graphic serial/novel is still vastly superior) but now I've grown to love it. With Art School Confidential, Zwigoff/Clowes have not only grown as a filmmaker/writer ensemble but have provided us with one of the best cynical stabs at the artistic medium ever portrayed on camera (with a very tightly plotted and unpredictable script). Just go in with an open mind (you have to be one to appreciate Clowes' unconventional style); the humor you JUST must get. I went in with the lowest expectations (the trailer is terrible) and was completely blown away. By far my favorite movie of the year so far. Watching the premise unfold on screen litereally feels like flipping through one of Clowes' classic Eightball issues. Brilliant.